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by Jeff Gottesfeld ; illustrated by Michelle Laurentia Agatha

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-939547-94-1
Publisher: Creston

A Jewish man and his family perform good deeds for non-Jews on Christmas Eve.

Al Rosen, who celebrates Hanukkah, loves Christmas, a holiday of “peace on earth and goodwill to humanity.” He does good deeds, or mitzvahs, for neighbors, at first taking the Christmas Eve shift at the local newsstand so the regular clerk can spend the night with his family. Later he goes on the radio to volunteer to work for Christians on Christmas Eve. His labors take him from grocery store to mail room to parking lot to barn. For many years he performs these many different jobs by himself and sometimes with his son and grandchildren, becoming a “local legend.” People of other faiths, Christian and Muslim, then return the favor on the Jewish High Holidays for Al and his family. But “years piled up like drifts in a blizzard,” and one year Al is too old—but in a grand finale, all join together to light the Hanukkah menorah: It’s a veritable “throng of God’s children.” An author’s note references the real Al Rosen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who performed these acts starting in 1969. The brightly colored, busy illustrations fill the pages with a nicely diverse collection of active and energetic folk working and smiling as a community.

A heartwarming slice of neighborly love, caring, and sharing.

(author's note) (Picture book. 6-9)